Giving up the day job

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Do all woodworkers dream of quitting their day jobs to devote full time to woodworking pursuits? Probably not all, but I'm betting that a few reading this blog are thinking about it.

Woodshop News is a magazine primarily for professional woodworkers, but after working with the magazine for more than a decade I've learned that a significant amount of the readership is comprised of woodworkers not yet doing it as their sole means of income. Some are extremely advanced hobbyists still working other full-time jobs; others still do the day job and sell their work when they can; still others have cut back on their day-job hours as their woodworking begins to sell; and some are "almost there."

I know two guys in that latter category, both of whom have come a long way since I first "met" them. I profiled both for magazine articles a few years ago, and although both were in the very-serious-hobbyist stage at the time, they were beginning to sell their work. Since then, both have begun to sell a lot more.

Thomas Skaggs of Whitehaven Woodworks (www.whitehavenwoodworks.com) in Champaign, Ill., does studio furniture and is not only increasing his sales, but was recognized with a prestigious 2007 NICHE award. Alan Young of Woodward Woodworks (www.woodwardwoodworks.com) in Ypsilanti, Mich., does traditional furniture and is also watching his commissions grow as quickly as his skills.

If their names sound familiar, there's a good reason – you've seen their names in comments to this blog, plus they're regular contributors to many woodworking forums. Check out their Web sites, and I guarantee you'll be impressed. I'm pleased to say "I knew them when," because they're both going places.

So my question to you is: Where are you going? If you're at that stage where you're beginning to see a transition in your woodworking from part-time, to most-of-the-time, tell me where you are in the process. Have you cut back on the day job yet? How are you juggling two careers? Have you set a date to take the plunge? What's been the biggest surprise (either pleasant or not) about transitioning over to becoming a professional woodworker?

I – and our readers – want to watch your progress.

Till next time,

A.J.

Related Articles